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#YouthRESIST tells Duterte: ‘The resistance is here’

“We cannot stay behind the comforts of ranting on social media,” 13-year-old Shibby de Guzman said.

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Students of St. Scholastica’s College wave cardboard signs to protest against the government’s war on drugs. Photo by Von Ozar/TomasinoWeb.

Millennials have been called “vain, selfish, and apathetic” — but in last Tuesday’s #YouthRESIST movement, they were more than eager to prove otherwise.

Waving different cardboard signs and marching to Les Miserables’s “Do You Hear the People Sing”, students of St. Scholastica’s College-Manila, along with different youth groups and student organizations, staged an ‘alternative’ youth State of the Nation Address less than a week before Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s second on July 24.

Taking their voices to Leon Guinto St., they called for an end to the extrajudicial killings and the government’s bloody “war on drugs” which is claimed to have taken an estimated number of 7,000 to 12,000 lives.

“We cannot stay behind the comforts of ranting on social media,” said Grade 9 Scholastican Shibby de Guzman. “It’s no longer just about us, it’s about everyone.”

13-year-old Shibby de Guzman urges the youth to “keep fighting” despite online harassment. Photo by Von Ozar/TomasinoWeb.

Similar protests were also held in Cebu City and General Santos City.

De Guzman caused an uproar online when she was photographed by The Benildean last November leading her schoolmates in the streets to protest the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Despite being targeted by trolls and online harassment, the 13 year old only became more vocal with her sentiments and has since served as the face of the #YouthRESIST movement.

“Keep fighting. Don’t mind the backlash. Always remember the country,” de Guzman told TomasinoWeb—all while marching once more to the streets.

‘Fight for what you believe in’

Karla Yu from Millennials Against Dictators also faced similar attacks for taking part in numerous protests.

But like De Guzman, she urged the youth to be more vocal about social issues.

Karla Yu of Millennials Against Dictators tells youth to “fight for what they believe in.” Photo by Von Ozar/TomasinoWeb.

“[The #YouthRESIST movement] has proved that we have the numbers who are willing to speak about this,” Yu spoke to TomasinoWeb. “At the end of the day, we fight for what we believe in.”

UP Sociology student Adrienne Onday, who popularized the “cardboard justice” protest last year, said that having other students follow suit is “an effect I never dreamed of having.”

“To see that a lot of people have really picked it up, I think I’m very proud to say I’ve been part of this,” Onday told TomasinoWeb, “na ako yung isa sa mga tao na talagang humikayat sa marami na magsalita, especially sa kabataan.”

Students wave cardboard signs similar to Hope Swann and Adrienne Onday’s “cardboard justice” protest last year. Photo by Von Ozar/TomasinoWeb.

Like Yu and De Guzman, Onday has battled with harassment online and offline after she walked around Manila wearing a cardboard that read “lahat tayo posibleng drug pusher.”

Killing the youth

The rising death toll of Duterte’s drug war has left thousands of bereaved families on its wake.

Lea Calano, a widow, narrated how her 5-year-old niece and her brother-in-law were killed.

“Kakaunti nalang sa amin ang may kayang magsalita,” Calano said. “Mapapawi ang takot ng iba kung ang tapang sa ating mga kabataan ay magsisimula.”

She also added that “walang sinuman ang pinangarap maging adik, o mapagbintangan na adik [at] papatayin ng walang hustisya.”

Sen. Risa Hontiveros also expressed her disgust over the unlawful “killing spree” as the government seemingly “honors the corrupt and kills the poor.”

“All these senseless deaths and tragedies are proof that government is not listening to the poor, it’s killing the poor and the youth,” Hontiveros lamented.

Nonetheless, she told the government that “millennials are watching.”

Sen. Risa Hontiveros announces “we are the resistance.” Photo by Von Ozar/TomasinoWeb.

Hontiveros also encouraged the youth to lead the nation and to stand against the government’s “creeping authoritarianism.”

Quoting the popular television series Game of Thrones, she proclaimed “winter is here; the night gathers, so does the resistance — and we are the resistance!”

#YouthRESIST was organized by Akbayan Youth, Millennials Against Dictators and the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines, along with various student and community-based organizations.

Similar protests were also held in Cebu City and General Santos City.—with Philip Jamilla

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#TWenty

#TWenty: The 2017 TomasinoWeb Year-ender

2016 was a merely a teaser for​ more terrible things to come—but 2017 was also the year we fought back.

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A letter from the editor

To say that 2017 was a challenging year is an understatement: 2017 was a terrible year—which is honestly funny, considering how just exactly a year ago, we were all probably tweeting how 2016 was the #WorstYearEver (it’s Twitter; sharper expletives are welcome).

If anything, the past year was merely a teaser for worse things to come, and it seems that 2017 picked up where 2016 left off: The Growling Tigers continued their dismal performance in the UAAP, securing only a single win this season; the government’s brutal crackdown on illegal drugs continue to claim the lives of thousands, even teenagers; and hazing has killed another student, and this time, it’s a Thomasian—all while the Dutertes enjoy lavish photoshoots in the Malacañang.

Mocha Uson is now an actual government official (which, more or less, gives legitimacy to her blatant misinformation frenzy), martial law is in full swing in Mindanao after a series of terror attacks, and candidates who lost to abstentions in the student council elections have threatened to take over the vacant posts.

It was a terrible year, but it was also the year we fought back.

A hashtag has given sexual harassment victims a voice to decry and expose abusers. Thousands marched in the streets of Manila last Sept. 21 to protest the government’s inhumane drug operations and harassment of farmer and indigenous communities. Mental health advocates also fought the stigma surrounding mental health conditions with a hashtag and Ariana Grande showed the world that we could respond to terrorism with love and solidarity.

It’s undeniable that we are living in dangerous times—and that we are facing even more challenging times ahead. Despite all the things we hated this year, we are here, on the last day of the year, hoping that we could fight our way through 2018 like we did this 2017.

With that, I now present to you the top 20 people, issues, events, and trends that defined the spirit of 2017.

My comrades, Thomasians, Filipinos, netizens: Here is #TWenty.

The fight continues,
Philip Jamilla

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SHS music org is reigning champion in 2017 Musikapella

Selah also bagged four other awards in this year’s Musikapella.

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Aside from the championship, Selah bagged four other awards. Photo courtesy of Musikapella, grabbed from Selah’s Facebook page.

With enchanting voices that mesmerized crowds, UST Senior High School’s Selah brought home the championship crown in this year’s Musikapella last Saturday, Nov. 25 at the AFP Theatre.

With the theme, “A Tribute to Paskong Pilipino,” Selah serenaded the people with Simbang Gabi as part of their contest piece, along with their choice piece, Kampana ng Simbahan.

Aside from the championship, Selah bagged four other awards: The People’s Choice Award, Sulyap ng Musika 2017 Winner, Best Interpretation of Choice Piece, and Best Interpretation of Contest Piece.

Triumph would not come without sacrifice: Balancing academics along with long excruciating hours of chorale training with their new choirmaster, Mark Raeniel Agpasa, Selah proved that no matter what hurdles they face, they will come emerge victorious.

President Veronica Therese Rivera narrated their journey in an exclusive online interview with TomasinoWeb.

“As an organization, Selah felt that there were unsaid expectations to excel, to make a name for UST Senior High School, since this was the first ever inter-school competition joined by UST SHS Selah,” Rivera said.

The group felt the need to step up as two other UST SHS organizations, dance troupe Galvanize and performing arts group Singtala, have already made a name in their respective fields.

But all in all, while winning was an ideal goal, Rivera stated that Selah wanted to do their best in the competition and perform their hearts out, even if that meant winning merely one award that night, as they valued the solidarity and community that Selah had brought with them.

Selah’s new choirmaster was overwhelmed with the support the Thomasian community gave them.

“Having that much likes and shares in social media sends a strong message — that people believe in Selah, that there are literally thousands of people who are part of Selah,” Agpasa said.

Musikapella is an annual choir competition and fundraising event for the University of the Philippines Economics Society Scholarship Fund.

Watch Selah’s winning performance below:

by Mykel Alen Tan

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The art that saves

Here’s what you missed at UNESCO Club’s INDIE+GENIUS: Indie Night for Indigenous People.

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MUSIKAT performs on INDIE+GENIUS: Indie Night for Indigenous People, a benefit concert organized by the UST UNESCO Club for the indigenous peoples of Tarlac. Photo by Earl Balce/TomasinoWeb.

The art saves the heart and soul — but through UST UNESCO Club’s INDIE+GENIUS: Indie Night for Indigenous People at the Engineering Concert Hall last Wednesday Nov. 29, art also saves the education and literacy of the indigenous peoples (IP) of Tarlac.

The concert kicked off as MUSIKAT serenaded the crowd with songs popular in the local music scene such as Kathang Isip by Ben & Ben, and June by Oh! Flamingo.

Raphael Sanchez from the UST UNESCO Club also performed Sila by SUD, and Treat You Right by TJ Monterde.

Students from the Faculty of Arts and Letters performed heart-wrenching spoken word poetry pieces.

Legal Management junior Rey Rebollos performed a piece on love and heartbreaks — of moving on and acceptance of the past.

Meanwhile, Communication Arts sophomore Manisha Mirchandani showed her painful journey from being apart from her family and finding her home within her.

Brimming with sentiments and advocacy, Louise Meets and Henri Igna from Words Anonymous also showcased their prowess in evoking emotions through poetry.

Meets’ performance was about heartbreak, separation, brokenness, healing, and self-acceptance.

“We kept naming it forever. Kept trying to water the garden that blooms behind our home even when nothing grew,” Louise Meets said on her piece, Museum of Broken Things.

And as for Igna, home is not a place: It is the person you hold dear.

“Pag hinto ng taxing sinasakyan ko, sa tapat ng kinatatayuan mo, sisigaw ako ng “”Manong! Para. Nakauwi na ako,”” Igna said in his piece, Taxi.

Their last performance was a collaborative piece that they had also performed during this year’s Pride March. It portrays a vibrant future for homosexuals where they can raise their own children and be accepted by society, testifying that their love are real. Both artists fight for equality, rights, and acceptance of the LGBTQIAP+ community.

In collaboration with various artists, the UST UNESCO Club organized INDIE+GENIUS as a charity concert to provide the basic necessities for education for IPs in Tarlac, asking the audience and advocates to donate a notebook and two pencils as their entrance pass.

“[We want] to help build literate indigenous communities through education. Pwede pa [sila] magdonate ng notebooks and pencils sa org room namin sa Tan Yan Kee Student Center Room 3N,” Alyssa Rafael, the director for education of UST UNESCO, told TomasinoWeb.

Rafael also encourages everyone to join them in their upcoming outreach program, “Halubilo” for the benefit of the indigenous community in Tarlac.

“Anyone can join us. They can contact us through our Facebook and Twitter accounts or pwede din sila dumaan sa org room para magtanong,” she urged.

by Lanz Nathan Hernandez

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